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Birding Report

Perhaps partly because of inactivity on the part of birders, there is little to report concerning bird life in Presqu'ile Provincial Park during the past week. There are still plenty of birds around but most of them are the same ones that have been present for the past month or so, including half a dozen southern species that occur only infrequently further north than this.

The male EURASIAN WIGEON that was found over a week ago made another brief appearance along the north shore of Gull Island today (July 1), breaking its own late date record. Although there were 14 AMERICAN WIGEONS in the area, it was not associating with them. Three scaup and two COMMON GOLDENEYES were also there this week and one of the latter was at the lighthouse on June 30. Three species of mergansers were near Owen Point on June 27. The female HOODED MERGANSER was also there on the next day. The female COMMON MERGANSER was the only one of that species at Presqu'ile in June. The long-staying pair of RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS was still at Owen Point on July 1, and two additional males were nearby. A HORNED GREBE was in Popham Bay throughout late May and early June but had not been seen again until June 27.

GREAT EGRETS and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS continue to be the most frequently seen /ardeids/ in the Park. A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK was at the marsh one evening. It is difficult to know which of the few shorebirds seen this week were late spring migrants and which were returning fall migrants. A BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER was at Owen Point on June 27 and 28, and two SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS on the 28th. The two LEAST SANDPIPERS on June 27 were the first since June 1 and were almost certainly the first fall migrants. Among those few sandpipers that pass through later this month and are unlikely to be seen after that are UPLAND SANDPIPERS, uncommon but not unheard of at Presqu'ile in July. A GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL was on the beach on June 28.

A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was feeding on caterpillars at 186 Bayshore Road, clearly visible because of the defoliated tree that the caterpillars had almost stripped. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS continue to be seen at their nest in Jobes' woods and flying past 83 Bayshore Road. PILEATED WOODPECKERS were seen on two different days, as were two COMMON RAVENS.

Although there was a record of a TUFTED TITMOUSE in late June nineteen years ago, summer records of that species are almost non-existent at Presqu'ile. Yet, on July 1, one observer heard a song at the calf pasture and another near the campground office that sounded just like the titmouse recording on a tape. A CAROLINA WREN was singing at 83 Bayshore Road on June 30. A BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was seen on June 28. Two EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were at the calf pasture on June 30.

ORCHARD ORIOLES can be found with little difficulty in various parts of the Park.

To reach Presqu'ile Provincial Park, follow the signs from Brighton.

Locations within the Park are shown on a map at the back of a tabloid that is available at the Park gate. Access to the offshore islands is restricted at this time of year to prevent disturbance to the colonial nesting birds there. Birders are encouraged to record their observations on the bird sightings board provided near the campground office by The Friends of Presqu'ile Park and to fill out a rare bird report for species not listed there.



Fred Helleiner